Daily Archives: May 6, 2011

Hedgehog Syndrome

This blog entry won’t have any examples with specific citations because I don’t have my books with me right now. However, I want to share this idea down before I lose it. I hope that I can expand this idea later.

I find it annoying when a book covers one topic and claims that understanding this one topic will explain everything and radically transform the way you live your life. I got partway through a book on loneliness before I got annoyed. Similarly, a business book might hammer one little idea over and over, applying it to everything. Ugh. What they propose may be one useful tool, but I don’t need to it be the one idea that changes everything. Sometimes this is a less a book problem and more a blurb problem. The blurb tells you how this book explains everything, but the text itself isn’t as epistemically arrogant.

I don’t self-identify as a one-idea person. I find Platonic forms and perfection troubling. I’m not much of a system person either, although that’s another topic and I’ll explore that more at a later date.